The Gower Gazette

Follow us on Twitter @MsGowersClass October 9, 2015

In The News...

Well we are just one week and a few days away from track out. There is still so much to do before then! We are working hard toward getting it all done. I'd like to send a big thank you out to our parent volunteers that started this week and did an awesome job with working with the kids. We appreciate you!

This week in Letterland we focused on "s" blends. We learned about sneaky Sammy Snake and the sounds he makes when he sneaks up behind words. We practiced tapping and blending these words as well and the kids did great with their spelling test.

Our Book of the Week was A Bad Case of Stripes. The kids LOVED this story and we were able to do so much with it while working on comprehension. On Monday we listened to the story through an interactive read aloud. and placed our focus on reading with expression. The children enjoyed hearing the actor read the story using so many different voices for each character. Tuesday, we reviewed making connections, describing characters, and central message or lesson of the story. Then we turned our focus to discovering what the problem and solution of the story was. The children did a great job with answering oral questions and using details from the story to explain their answers. On Wednesday we switched gears and focused on vocabulary. We used context clues from the story as well as technology to understand the meanings of new words as well as how to apply this strategy to their independent reading. I also introduced cause and effect. We gave examples of this and watched a Brain Pop Jr. video to build our understanding. Then on Thursday, Mrs. Lewis (our sub) read the story A Bad Case of Stripes again. During the reading, the kids listened for causes and effects. After the story finished, she led a great discussion about all of the cause and effects that were inside this book. Friday the boys and girls created a fun project that focused on written comprehension and retelling/summarizing events in sequential order. As you can see, we worked hard this week and got a lot accomplished!

Typically when I read the story, A Bad Case of Stripes, we make our tie-dye t-shirts; however, I had to be out on Thursday and Friday; therefore, I was unable to get the shirts ready for this fun event. I know the kids were disappointed; we will do this on Monday, Oct. 19th instead.

In Writing we continued to focus on personal narratives and conventions. Next week we will begin working on persuasive writings.

In Math, we worked through more subtraction problems and practiced building equations as well as solving these problem types with various methods. The children have grown comfortable with number lines and circle drawings; therefore, this week we learned how to use ten frames and counting back as new methods for finding the difference. The goal for math is to teach the students a variety of math methods that can be used to work through problems then allowing them to choose the method that words best for them. The kids love math and are doing a great job as they solve and explain their answers. We will get back to having math stations next week; I know the kids have missed it!

Don’t forget we are having our Fall Learning Experience (aka: party) on Thursday, Oct. 15th from 9:30-11:30. Matthew, Maia, & Roscoe's mom have planned some fun activities and treats for the kids. Please, please send in your $2.00 to help cover the costs. We have only had a few children send this money in; it is unfair for the parents planning this for your children to have to cover the costs… so please help out! The kids are REALLY looking forward to it. You are ALL invited to come to our party and join in the fun! Every year I have a great turn out and the kids love having y’all enjoy this event with them. So mark your calendars and be there!!!

On Friday we will be having our first Award's Rally. I sent an email out to parents whose child will be receiving an award last Thursday. I wish I could give all of the kids an award, but unfortunately the awards rally does not work that way. However, there will be another rally mid-year and if your child is not receiving one this time there is always the next one. They are ALL equally deserving and I am proud of each one of them.

I hope you all are talking up the Boosterthon with your neighbors and family. It is fast approaching; this is our only fundraiser for the school. We will have a Pep Rally on Oct. 21st and then we run on Nov. 18th. Due to being tracked out, we sometimes struggle with collecting pledges for this event and we usually come in last place for 1st grade. I’m hoping that during track out you can speak to family, friends, & businesses and get some pledges sent our way. The school will donate 10% of the money collected by our class to our very own classroom for supplies. Some teachers receive $400+ due to the amount of money their kids collect. Let’s work on getting some good pledges; I’d love to be able to purchase some more technology for our room to help enrich the kids learning.

Don't forget that next week is SPIRIT week!!! Here is the theme for each day...

  • Monday- Mustache Monday (wear a mustache)
  • Tuesday- Twisted Tuesday (wear stripes with plaid; two different socks... anything mismatched)
  • Wednesday- Wacky Wednesday (wild and wacky hair is the theme... the crazier the better)
  • Team Pride Thurs. (Show us who you root for)
  • Freaky Friday- Costumes Rule (wear your costumes to school; just remember not to wear anything that covers your head or face; also no weapons or scary stuff like fake blood)

I will be participating each day and hope your child will be too!

We wrapped up balance this week with making a fall mobile. The kids had to use what they knew about balance to create this craft using rubberbands, straws, paperclips, and fall pictures. They had to make sure that their mobile was stable and that their pictures would not fall off when hung in our classroom. They did a great job with this. You can see these next week when you come to our Fall Learning Experience.

For Social Studies we learned a little about community helpers; especially Fire Fighters. This week is Fire Prevention/Safety Week. Through Scholastics the boys and girls learned about this community helper and then we watched an interactive video that helped us learn how to be safe if ever in a fire. I encouraged the kids to talk with you all about creating a plan for home focused on what to do if this ever happens to you. Best to be prepared and hope that you never need it, but you never know if something like this will take place. Just last week, my Aunt's home burned down in Virginia. It's a pretty devastating event, but her life was spared. Her home can always be rebuilt. It's something to think about!

Since track out comes during a mid-week, I have some important information to share with you. First, Homework WILL come home next week, but not the three days after. In your child’s homework folder on Monday there will be an important letter about your child’s first project. Each child will be researching a particular country and sharing some information about this country with the class through a presentation. Please make sure you read this letter. I wanted to send it early so that you could work on it during track out if you choose. This will give you a total of 6 weeks to work on it with your child as it is not due until Friday, Nov. 2oth. The details for the project will be on the letter along with the country your child has been officially assigned to. You can chose a country of interest by signing up through the sign up genius link at the bottom of this newsletter. I will assign students on Monday to whichever countries are left; so if you want your pick sign up today!!! This project will be a part of their Social Studies grade so be creative! I have had some really awesome projects in the past and can't wait to see what you come up with. In addition to the project, your child will bring home 2 leveled readers with written comprehension sheets (these are not required to complete; only encouraged). Your child is also encouraged to work through IXL, Spelling City, and Raz-Kids during break; these sites will help them continue to progress in essential first grade skills. We will do another Track Out Contest with the prize being no homework for a week for the student(s) who use these sites consistently during break; makes good progress on his/her rainbow words; and returns the written comprehension sheets. I will also have a reading log on my website during Track Out. If your child reads 5 books during track out and records the titles and a brief sentence or two about the books he/she will earn lunch with me on the Friday we return to school.

Whew... that was a lot of information. It's going to be an exciting week and a half. I am looking forward to seeing you all at our Fall party. Until then, take care and have a super weekend!

~Ms. Gower


The following students have earned 5 or more points on AR! They've earned their first reward and their owl is on our AR board. I am proud of all their reading. Keep it up!

  • Colson- 6.5 pts.
  • Jose- 5.8 pts.

Others are really close to this goal. I can't wait to recognize them when they reach it!


  • Tonight is Movie Night. It begins at 6:00

  • Send in $2 for our Fall Party and plan on attending it on Thurs. Oct. 15th @ 9:30

  • Sign up for the country you and your child want to research; the link below. I will assign countries on Monday to any child who hasn't picked one.

WSES- Embracing the Needs of Every Child

"Every day starts with expectation but ends with experience, learn what ever life teaches YOU!"